MCLEAN, Va., Dec. 5, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- Lightbridge Corporation (NASDAQ: LTBR), a leading innovator of next generation nuclear fuel designs and provider of nuclear energy consulting services to commercial and governmental organizations, today announced that independent analysis of the Company's fuel design validates the technology's indicated benefits of increased power output and enhanced operating economics for nuclear utilities.
"Power uprate project economics are generally attractive for nuclear plant owners," the study concluded. "The economics of Lightbridge's nominal 10% capacity uprate are attractive since the uprate's levelized cost of generation is below the expected market price for power in 2021 and that of most incremental power uprates on fossil fueled units." The economic analysis was prepared by Pace Global Energy Services LLC, a Siemens business, working with a global engineering firm with expertise in the nuclear power industry.
"This analysis by a credible and respected expert advances the strategic positioning of Lightbridge's fuel technology within the nuclear power industry," said Seth Grae, Lightbridge President and Chief Executive Officer. "The Pace Global study shows that Lightbridge's metallic fuel can deliver significantly improved economics to nuclear utilities from increased power output and extended fuel cycles, resulting in highly attractive returns on invested capital, even with conservative assumptions on reactor conversion and regulatory licensing costs, and fuel technology licensing fees paid to Lightbridge. The economics for a 10% power uprate case are quite favorable across both regulated and unregulated utility markets and provide the cheapest source of incremental generating capacity compared to building a new nuclear or non-nuclear power plant."
Other findings of the Pace Global study include projected increases in domestic wholesale power prices of 4.5% per year from 2013 to 2030, which would further improve the economics for utilities using Lightbridge's fuel. Power prices are expected to average more than $70/MWh (as measured in 2012 U.S. dollars) by 2030, compared with an estimated range of $29 to $41/MWh in 2013, the study says. The full report can be accessed via Lightbridge's website in the Featured Reports and Presentations section of the Company's Investor Relations page.
"While the Pace Global study focused exclusively on power uprates in existing 4-loop Westinghouse-type 1,100-MWe pressurized water reactors (PWR), Lightbridge's metallic fuel is also expected to deliver improved plant economics in new PWR designs such as AP-1000, EPR and similar new reactor designs, boiling water reactors, and light water-based small modular reactor designs," Grae said.
The Pace Global economic analysis comes after the recent publication of a peer-reviewed article that highlights how the Company's next generation fuel is capable of increasing the power output and extending the fuel-cycle length of light water reactors. The article also reviews the unique geometry and composition of the metallic fuel and its application to power uprates in light water reactors. The article was published in the December 2012 edition of Nuclear Technology, a publication of the American Nuclear Society. An abstract of the article is available at http://www.new.ans.org/pubs/journals/nt/v_180:3.
About Lightbridge Corporation
Lightbridge is a US nuclear energy company based in McLean, Virginia with operations in Abu Dhabi, Moscow and London. The Company develops proprietary, proliferation resistant, next generation nuclear fuel technologies for existing and future nuclear reactor systems. The Company also provides comprehensive advisory services for established and emerging nuclear programs based on a philosophy of transparency, non-proliferation, safety and operational excellence. Lightbridge's breakthrough fuel technology is establishing new global standards for safe and clean nuclear power and leading the way to a sustainable energy future. Lightbridge consultants provide integrated strategic advice and expertise across a range of disciplines including regulatory affairs, nuclear reactor procurement and deployment, reactor and fuel technology and international relations. The Company leverages those broad and integrated capabilities by offering its services to commercial entities and governments with a need to establish or expand nuclear industry capabilities and infrastructure.
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About Pace Global Energy Services, LLC
Pace Global, a unit of the Building Technologies division of Siemens AG, is a leading energy consulting and management company. The company combines deep industry knowledge with commercial, technical, financial, and regulatory expertise to help organizations maximize value and manage risk in today's complex energy and environmental markets. For more than 35 years and in more than 60 countries, Pace Global has worked closely with its clients to define strategies and implement solutions. The company offers a unique, integrated perspective our clients have come to trust, which we call the Power of Integration. For more information, visit www.paceglobal.com.
Forward Looking Statements
This news release contains statements that are forward-looking in nature, including statements regarding Lightbridge's competitive position and product and service offerings. These statements are based on current expectations on the date of this news release and involve a number of risks and uncertainties that may cause actual results to differ significantly from such estimates. The risks include, but are not limited to, the degree of market adoption of the Company's product and service offerings; market competition; dependence on strategic partners; and the Company's ability to manage its business effectively in a rapidly evolving market. Certain of these and other risks are set forth in more detail in Lightbridge's filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission. Lightbridge does not assume any obligation to update or revise any such forward-looking statements, whether as the result of new developments or otherwise.
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